Monthly Archives : May 2016

Wires can’t keep up with faster Wi-Fi

Gigabit Wi-Fi, or 802.11ac, has been slowly appearing in homes, buildings and public hotspots, but according to researchers at OpenSignal, gigabit is not delivering to smartphones and wiring is the culprit. In part with how wireless technology works, and the performance of the wired networks Wi-Fi needs to work, the smartphone reach is strained. Researchers found that the 802.11ac which is the latest and greatest in Wi-Fi capabilites, gives users an average of 32.4Mbps, more than double the speed of anything else on the market. In anticipation of even newer technology, this is actually a great deal slower than the 400Mbps that should be made available with newer versions not on the market, yet.

Researchers wanted to know what accounted for the hold up, as 32.4 and 400 have a great range between them. What has been noticed is that the built-in limitations of wireless are partly to blame, but rather that the speed of wire that is plugged into the access point is the real cause of slower speeds. As technology moves forward, Wi-Fi has surpassed wired networks in many places. However, the wired networks still remain, and if the data ultimately carries over 25Mbps cable broadband, that is basically as much as any user is going to get.

Ethernet is attempting to keep up as 802.11ac gets faster, with new LAN interfaces that can run 5Gbps. At the moment the pickings are slim, and getting 802.11ac with a smartphone is not the norm. In order to do so, a smartphone and wired network are necessary. Most of the time when a smartphone is using Wi-Fi it is on the older, slower, 802.11n. Currently, users in the United States were only on 802.11ac 7.9 percent of the time. wifi_80211ac


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Newer Wi-Fi’s faster, but it needs a fast wire behind it

 

Apple approaches enterprise and partners with SAP

apple-sap-1200x520Apple is making headway in the enterprise market, adding another major partnership to their resume, SAP. Apple will work alongside to develop more native iOS apps as well as an SDK for SAP’s HANA cloud platform. The SDK element is meant to open the door for the more than 2.5 million SAP users to develop and build native iOS apps that can access real time data through SAP systems. The agreement between Apple and SAP also includes a new “SAP Academy for iOS” in which SAP customers and partners are invited to meet face-to-face, learning how to design apps for iPhones and iPads.

Apple CEO Tim Cook relays his excitement about the deal by saying, “With 76 percent of business transactions touching an SAP system, SAO is the ideal partner to help us truly transform how businesses around the world are run on iPhone and iPad,”Cook said this week. Apple has said that roughly 310,000 businesses and public agencies use SAP applications and services.

During the past two years Apple has made some major deals. IBM, Cisco, and now SAP, many in the industry are predicting Oracle is next on the list for Apple. This would be a good move for Apple, as Oracle is one of the last pieces to the enterprise puzzle.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit:Apple’s SAP deal means more iOS enterprise apps

 

Apple Music is quietly deleteing songs form user drives

apple-fixes-users-folder-bug-with-itunes-update_1Alright, as a person that values her carefully selected music library, I was pretty surprised to hear that my biggest fear was coming to life. Some users are complaining that Apple Music has been quietly deleting songs from their hard drives. James Pinkstone, average user, noticed after implementing Apple Music, that many of his tracks were mysteriously missing. Anyone that has battled with the transition of CDs to the digital age, knows that burning tracks from CD to music library is a long and painful task. It takes time to manually import the tracks, and if you are like many that have already upgrade their machines to the latest edition, know that CD players alone are becoming obsolete. So come to find out that many if not all of the tracks that you have painstakingly imported are suddenly missing, without your permission, would be infuriating.

The official comment from Apple concerning this issue was that, “the software is working as intended”. As intended! Apparently it intends to “clean up” user song content no matter if it has permission to or not. Not comforting. Pinkstone thought perhaps his songs would be made available through the cloud, but that was quickly determinded to not be the case. Luckily for Pinkstone, he has everything backed up. Take that Apple!

Apple patches vulnerable OS X Git version

5743588-Sick-green-apple-with-patches-isolated-on-white-background-Stock-PhotoNearly a month after Git vulnerabilities, CVE-2016-2324 and CVE-2016-2315 were made clear to Apple, they have finally been fixed. Upsetting to some, the patched version of Git was released on March 17th, but was not implemented into Xcode by Apple until about 6 weeks later. Apple released a new version of its Xcode development tool this past week, in order to patch two critical vulnerabilities in the Git source code management client. The Git vulnerabilities allow attackers to use malicious code on systems that utilized the initiated cloning operations.

Developers use Xcode to write applications for OS X and iOS as it is an integrated development environment. Xcode includes a package called the OS X Command Line Tools for Xcode, which contained the Git vulnerabilities. Now updated to 2.7.4. version, the Git with the command tools package should be back in working  order. System administrators and researchers alike criticized Apple for their lack of timely attention to the patches. Left in the dark and without a patch for 6 weeks, many were forced to resort to hacking in order to disable Git within company Mac machines, not exactly the ideal solution to the problem. When it takes Apple a month and a half to implement the fix, sometimes hackery is the only viable answer.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Computer World – Apple Patches

10 year old finds Instagram bug and cashes in big

facebook-instagramJani, the 10 year old that found a bug in Instagram, probably didn’t know you technically have to be 13 years old in order to even have an Instagram account. You may have to be 13 to have an account but there are no rules against age in the bug and hacking community. Jani found the glitch when he was able to delete any users comments off of Instagram. Jani says he was able to delete any text content he wished to, and although he didn’t proceed to delete any user text, he said if he wanted to he could have. The 10 year old, in true 10 year old fashion, related the severity of the bug to that of Justin Bieber, saying he could delete comments from anyone’s page, even Justin Bieber’s. Don’t worry Bieber fanatics, he resisted, and decided to rather exploit the bug to Facebook, wiping one of their comments from their test accounts and cashing in on $10,000.

The bug was detected by Jani in February, patched that same month, with his check in hand a month later. He has decided to buy himself a new soccer ball and bike. He also purchased two new computers for his brothers. Jani wishes to work as a security researcher when he is older, and we think he’s well on his way.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit:10-year-old claims $10,000 bug bounty from Facebook

 

July 29th Marks the End of Free Windows 10 Upgrade

windows-10If you are one of the many that is stalling on upgrading to Windows 10 for free, now is the time to make moves. July 29th marks the end of the free upgrade offered by Microsoft, after July 29th Windows 10 will cost you a whooping $119. If you happen to be content with your current Windows software, you’ll be happy to hear that after July 29th you will no longer receive those pestering notifications encouraging you to upgrade.

As of right now Microsoft has relayed no intention of extending the free upgrade period any longer than the end of July. However, with the drastic change in price, Microsoft might encounter a shift in users willing to upgrade to Windows 10. I mean honestly, if you don’t want to upgrade when it is free, why upgrade when it costs you over a hundred bucks. This leads many to speculate that Microsoft may decide to extend the free upgrade period to get even more users on board. If this speculation turns out to be true, the update notifications are here to stay.

In the event this does happen, or perhaps you just truly despise having Windows constantly in your face about upgrading, there is a simple way to turn off Windows 10 upgrade notifications for good. Downloading, Never 10 by Steve Gibson Corporation will do the trick. After you have downloaded the software, click the “Disable Win10 Upgrade” button and your PC will stop the constant nagging. If the Windows 10 installer files have already been downloaded to your desktop, click the “Remove Win10 Files” button.  Even better, after you have done this you are free to delete Never 10, as it is not needed to continue blocking the notifications. If you do decide you miss your naggy relationship with Windows 10, you are free to download Never 10 again, and easily revert the changes you have made.

 


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Microsoft will soon stop nagging users to upgrade to Windows 10

Why your business should be utilizing DRM

drmDigital rights management, often known as enterprise DRM, gives companies control over the sharing capabilities of their documents. Nothing about this technology is necessarily new, rights management versions have been in Windows Server since 2003. For businesses, its generally surprising that many are unaware of the benefits of employing DRM. Data control is enforced over networks, mobile devices, and applications so why not documents. DRM allows companies to share quotes and prices with clientele, monitoring the number of times the document has been opened. You can also set documents to expire, such as with prices and quotes so only the most current document is available. In addition DRM allows for control of sharing, making it possible to send documents to clients without them being forwarded to your competition.

Companies are beginning to see that protecting the perimeter and devices is no longer enough, and that a data-centric approach is necessary, says Dan Plastina who runs Microsoft’s rights management offerings. He goes on to to describe rights management as “identity-bound data protection; you encrypt the files so only the right person has access to it”. Although most of the companies that have DRM capabilities enforced are in finance, automotive, or manufacturing, data rights management is important for greater range of companies than it is currently reaching. What companies need to understand is the importance of control. Data goes to the cloud, to clients, to vendors, forwarded to partners, passed around without any central control of what is being sent, changed, or if the data is current. DRM eliminates the mess of rogue data.

The most important thing to acknowledge with DRM is flexibility of control. Rights management works well if you begin by identifying the basic needs, classifying, labeling and protecting. This way you can ensure that digital rights management is working to the benefit of your company.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Why you need DRM for your documents

 

Businesses Beware- FBI warns Ransomware is on the rise

ransomeThe FBI released statements of warning this week about the rapid growth of ransomware attacks. As attacks become more frequent and sophisticated, it is crucial that businesses are proactive about ransomware prevention. The influx of attacks against hospitals has made ransomware a major threat to the U.S. healthcare industry this year and will only continue without proper protection.

Years prior, ransomware was delivered through email. Now that email systems have evolved, and spam settings have become more sensitive, cyber criminals have stepped away from email delivery. Seeding legitimate websites with malicious code and taking advantage of unpatched software on end-user computers, there is no need for an individual to click on a link in order to be infected. In a usual email attack, a user may see an email addressed to them and open it. Unsuspectingly clicking on the attachment that appears no different than any other attachment, the malware code is then able to access the victims machine and the rest is history.

Once the machine has been infected, the malware begins encrypting the files and folders on local drives, including attached drives, backups and even other computers on a shared network. As seen many times this year, organizations are often unaware of the attack until they are unable to open their files and retrieve data. Sometimes organizations are not made aware of the encryption until messages start to display ransom payment in exchange for a decryption key.

Whether or not to pay the ransom is still under debate. The FBI does not encourage payment, only because paying the bitcoin does not guarantee the safe return of sensitive data. Morally, payment would be frowned upon, as it is most certainly funding illicit criminal activity and encouraging more attacks. However, it is understandable why many have been forced to pay, simply put businesses need their data in order to survive. Unfortunately ransomware criminals know that all too well.

Prevention Measures 

  • Make sure employees are aware of ransomware and of their critical roles in protecting the organization’s data.
  • Patch operating system, software, and firmware on digital devices (which may be made easier through a centralized patch management system).
  • Ensure antivirus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and conduct regular scans.
  • Manage the use of privileged accounts—no users should be assigned administrative access unless absolutely needed, and only use administrator accounts when necessary.
  • Configure access controls, including file, directory, and network share permissions appropriately. If users only need read specific information, they don’t need write-access to those files or directories.
  • Implement software restriction policies or other controls to prevent programs from executing from common ransomware locations (e.g., temporary folders supporting popular Internet browsers, compression/decompression programs).
  • Back up data regularly.
  • Secure your backups. Make sure they aren’t connected to the computers and networks they are backing up.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: FBI: Ransomware threat at all-time high; how to protect company jewels

What to do if you suspect Malware? We have the answers

Most often one does not know that they are infected with Malware until it is indefinitely too late. A few signs can lead you too believe you might be infected, such as incredibly slow PC performance, browser pop-ups when no browser is open, and security warnings from security programs that have never been installed on your computer, can make you feel uneasy about your machine. Try these tools to kick Malware in the butt. malware-microsoft

Update Antivirus

The software IDs within antivirus software identify existing malware based on what has come before and the latest updates available. Make sure your antivirus software is current, with all of the latest installs. Having software that is even one day out of date leaves your machine at risk for encryption. Antivirus vendors offer updates based on viruses they encounter both in the lab and in the field.

Find Safe Mode

Most malware, when designed correctly, is ready to evade System Restore points set in Windows. Perhaps this might be enough to fix the problem, but say that its not, as it most likely won’t be, try running a program designed to kill any known malware process in progress, such as RKill. The other option in this case is to boot Windows in a way that will not allow malware to get started, aka Safe Mode. By first restarting your PC (Windows 8 or 10), hold down the shift key during the boot sequence, and choose Safe Mode within the troubleshooting options.

Delete Hiding Places

You should then delete all temp files that could hide malware. To delete temp files, open the Start menu, type Disk Cleanup into the search bar and it will check the C:drive for all temp files that can be safely deleted. The software IDs within antivirus software identify existing malware based on what has come before and the latest updates available. Make sure your antivirus software is current, with all of the latest installs. Having software that is even one day out of date leaves your machine at risk for encryption. Antivirus vendors offer updates based on viruses they encounter both in the lab and in the field. After this process it is advised that you run an antivirus on-demand scanner, such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. This program is a great line of second defense against malware because it often comes to the rescue if your initial antivirus fails.

No Connection

A RAT, means that someone is remotely accessing your PC. Your first step in this case is to get off the internet. Turn off the Wi-Fi, remove the Ethernet cable, turn off the router, whatever needs to be done in order to detach from the internet. Now, being disconnected from the internet ensures that you are no longer able to be controlled, but it makes it a great deal harder to receive the latest antivirus without access to the internet. The latest software will need to be retrieved from a third party PC, at a different location preferably, then transferred to the RAT PC via USB flash drive. Another option would be to reboot the computer with a CD. Running a full anti-malware utility, these CDs are sometimes called “rescue CD” and can be used without internet connection. Of course, in order to use this option, a CD player will be necessary.

Portable Help

If all other options have failed, it may be the Operating System that has already been infected, making it impossible to even download the newest antivirus software. In order avoid the OS and let the antivirus do its job, you will need to utilize portable apps through a USB flash drive. These portable apps do not require a direct installation. Apps like this consist of Microsoft Safety Scanner, CLamWin, McAfee Stinger, or Kaspersky Security Scan. You can also try a mix of many portable apps since they will not conflict as you have to run each scan individually. There are also other software options such as Spybot and Symantec’s Norton Power Eraser that specifically target a type of malware called crimeware, that run scams. Although this is measure is aggressive, and often times deletes files that might not be malware, all in the effort of safety of course.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: How to Remove Malware From Your PC